Sunday, January 24, 2010

Authors Visit Bayview

Bayview ushered in the 2010 centennial year with a town meeting Friday, January 15, called by the Independent Centennial Committee. This group of historians and community activists were able to put together a community calendar that was as spectacular as was the speed it sold out. Some of us still don't have a copy, but there is a move on to create another for next year.

Private donations have created a monument that is still in the process of being set up near the entrance of town. Many people wonder why, since Bayview Isn't incorporated it can have a centennial. Back in 1910, an enterprising investor, purchased a large tract of land smack in the middle of what was to become Bayview. The Prairie Development Company, and a spin-off Bayview Townsite Company plated 27 lots that became the core of the town that isn't.

The program that was introduced was different than most community meetings. Gone was the verbosity that tends to extend content without necessarily adding to the value. With the introduction of the donors and the program for this, the centennial year, the guests of honor were introduced. This gathering had not one, but two local authors, selling and signing books. The first, was Jane Fritz, author of many articles in periodicals, that finally accepted the challenge of writing a book. A student of history and involved in much interaction between modern North Idaho, and the various Indian tribes that inhabited Kootenai and Bonner Counties, especially. Her book, entitled Legendary Lake Pend Oreille has just recently been published by Keokee publishing of Sandpoint, Idaho. About forty or so guests lined up for autographed copies of the book.

Following her was Dennis Woolford, park ranger and historian at Farragut State Park. Dennis along with a pal in Boise,Gayle Alvarez, who runs the state archives managed to put together a complete history of Farragut Naval Station through the war years. They gathered items that had been donated to the park as well as records from the navy and state archives. Stories of hidden weapons buried by the departing navy turned out to be false. Apparently a rumor had circulated for many years that when the base swimming pools were filled and covered up at the end of the war, brand new rifles still covered in cosmoline were buried in these pools.

Finally last year, a ground piercing sonar was brought out from the east coast and used above all of the various pools. These pools, one to each training camp were not primarily intended for recreation, since swimming was a part of the basic training program. War years proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that swimming skills in the pacific navy were needed. One more war story disproved. No guns were found, just junk that was buries in the handy spots.

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